Contrary to popular belief, branding is a lot more than just presenting your business or organization (yes, you too non-profits!) in an aesthetically pleasing way. Your brand is how your business/organization is presented to the public. Your trust within your clients, followers and supporters are all reliant on having a consistent brand.
Think of it like McDonalds- when you see someone wearing yellow and red, what tends to pop into your head? McDonald’s! They have done well to create a consistent brand identity for decades, despite changing logos and menu items from time to time. The goal of your branding is for someone to see something your business puts out into the world (email, blog, video, product etc.) and know it is from you.
Here are some tips to audit your branding to make sure you are building transparency and trust for your business:
1. Do you have set colours, logo, fonts etc. for your brand? Is is consistent?
You might not be aware of it, but your brand has a style.
And if you don’t have one… well, that’s a problem.
Branding is important because it helps consumers recognize your company and trust the products you create. If you have a distinctive look and feel that’s consistent across all your marketing materials, then people will know they’re getting the real deal with every purchase from you. It’s not just about appealing to customers—it’s about establishing trust between them and your brand!
2. Do you have clear vision, mission and client avatar?
Knowing who you want to work with or provide services for it essential in developing a strong brand. You want to tailor who you are as a business to fit the needs of your target market. Creating a client avatar is like creating your ideal client- what do they like to do? What is their lifestyle like? What problems to they have in their life?
Knowing who you work for will help in every step of building your brand, from tone of voice to use in posts to knowing which social media platforms to focus on. If your mission, vision and client avatar are unclear- it is time to get to work!
3. Do you know who you are as a brand?
There is no place for an identity crisis when it comes to your brand. You should know exactly who you are, what you do, and why. This extends into even the tone of voice you use. Are you witty, edgy, friendly, traditional or professional? Does your current tone resonate with your client base?
In addition to knowing who you are, you should also focus on what makes you unique. There will always be competitors, and that is okay! But for consumers, they need to see what makes you different from your competitor (beyond having a superior product/service) so they can decide who is the best fit for them.
4. Are you visuals aligned across your business?
It is shocking how many businesses and organizations who do not understand the importance of having a consistent visual representation of your brand. I have experience working with an organization who did not even have a standard font for their logo- and would change it often (yikes!).
Your visuals do not need to be the most ground breaking and gorgeous thing your customer has ever seen. It just needs to be the same. Your email signature should have the same font as your website, as your social media posts, as your flyers etc. Do not mix and match depending on the medium, doing so does such a disservice for your credibility as a business.
5. Are you reaching your current niche?
It is important to continuously audit your branding and its impact. Understanding what is working and what may not be resonating with your potential client base is so important. How do you do this? Track metrics, do research, meet your clients where they are. Gather as much information as possible within your means to make sure you are reaching your target market and making the impression you want.
Brands change over time, and they absolutely should. Don’t be scared to switch things up, but make sure when you are auditing your brand that you understand key elements to make it a success.